World Facts

The 10 Most Populated Countries in the Middle East

Iran is the most populated country in the Middle East, followed by Turkey and Iraq.

The Middle East is a region located in Western Asia and stretches into Egypt. The region is made up of 17 countries. The term “Middle East” is used to describe the countries that form West Asia, extending into Africa. The region has vast ethnic groups. The Middle East has a population of approximately 411 million people, including 13 million Arab immigrants. The region experienced an explosive population growth between 1950 and 2000, with the population growing from 92 million to over 350 million. However, the region has experienced slow population growth from 2000 due to a fall in the number of children born to a woman over her lifespan. Here are the most populated countries in the Middle East.

10. Palestine

In 2014, the Palestine Central Bureau indicated that the population of Palestine averaged 4.6 million people, accounting for 1.14% of the population of the Middle East. The country’s population density averages over 730 people per square kilometers. Palestine’s population is one of the fastest growing in the world at a rate of 2.92% annually and is estimated to double by 2040.

9. Jordan

As of 2012, Jordan has a population of approximately 6.8 million people, accounting for 1.67% of the Middle East population. About 30% of the population is non-nationals and include mainly refugees and illegal immigrants from Palestine. The population of Jordan is growing at a relative rate of 2.75% annually and is expected to double by 2040. The majority of the population of Jordan prefer urban to rural areas.

8. Israel

In 2015, the population of Israel was approximately 8.3 million people, with Jews accounting for over 74% of the population. The population of Israel is about 2% of the population of the Middle East. The majority of the population lives in Gush Dan, Jerusalem, and Haifa. The population of Israel is increasing at a rate of 1.9% every year and is expected to double by 2055.

7. United Arab Emirates

The population of United Arab Emirates is very diverse. As of 2010, UAE had a population of approximately 10 million people, with only 12% being UAE nationals. Most of the population is composed of immigrants. The population of the UAE accounts for 2.18% of the Middle East population and increases at an annual rate of 2.45%.

6. Syria

The population of Syria is estimated at 23.2 million people as of 2011, including refugees from Palestine. The Syrian population accounts for 5.68% of the total population of the Middle East. The country’s population density is about 99 people per square kilometers. The population of Syria is increasing at 2.45% every year and is expected to double by 2040.

5. Saudi Arabia

The population of Saudi Arabia is approximately 31.5 million as of 2015, accounting for 7.7% of the Middle East’s total population. The country has experienced a rapid population growth since 1950 when it had only 3 million people. Saudi Arabia’s population includes 5 million to 10 million non-national immigrants. The population is growing at 2.44% annually and is expected to double by 2045.

4. Yemen

As of 2012, Yemen has a population of 26.7 million people, accounting for 6.5% of the total Middle East population. Yemen’s population is relatively youthful with over 45% under 15 years and only 2.8% above the age of 65. The population is increasing at 2.95% and is expected to double by 2040. Yemen has one of the highest total fertility rates in the world at over 4.4 children per woman.

3. Iraq

As of 2016, Iraq has a population of approximately 37.2 million people, accounting for 8.9% of the total Middle East population. The majority of the population is Arabs who account for over 80% followed by Sams. The population of Iraq is increasing at a relative rate of 2.23% and is expected to double by 2040. Iraq has a youthful population, with a median age of 21.3 years

2. Turkey

Turkey has a population of approximately 78.2 million people, accounting for 19% of the population of Middle East. The majority of the Turkey’s population lives in urban areas. The country’s population growth is estimated at 1.35% annually with the population expected to double by 2066. The average population density of Turkey is 97 people per kilometers, with the majority of the population (67%) aged between 15 and 64.

1. Iran

Iran is an ethnically diverse country with the ethnic groups unified by a shared Iranian nationality. Iran experienced a rapid population increase in the late 20th century, growing from 19 million in 1950 to over 70 million in 2009. As of 2017, Iran has a population of approximately 78.8 million people, accounting for 19.2% of the total Middle East population.

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